Meet the Emerging Farmer: Dominic Machingura

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meet Emerging Farmer...Dominic Machingura. Dominic is an urban farmer growing vegetables for local supermarkets on his family's urban plot in Belvedere, Harare. Prior to October 2014, Dominic had absolutely no previous experience farming or even gardening. His turning point was attending a Zimbabwe Farmers' Union event where he was inspired by other young farmers to get involved. With a little bit of capital from his family, he started farming.
How did your farming journey start?  Do you come from an agricultural background?
My farming journey started last year on the 14th October 2014 after attending the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union ZYA Summit. I don’t come from an agricultural background,in fact, I am studying accounting and grew up wanting to be a musician.

How did your educational and training background assist you in starting your own farming business?
My accounting training gave me the confidence that I could start something of my own.
Tell us how you manage your daily work routine?
Well, some days it starts at 4 a.m. cause that’s when I find it best to water. I have days when I plant new seedlings and I have days when I do things like weeding, tilling and I have a time that I set aside for marketing.
Can you tell us a little about your team?
It is a one-man operation, though from time to time I employ the services of a part-time worker.

What lessons have you learned on your farming entrepreneurial journey so far?
Wow! So many lessons. First, when starting farming there is a learning curve that will take you a least one year to pass.  Second, that you need to market your produce aggressively. Third, when it comes to farming that you need to do your things on time not sooner not later.  And finally, that you need to be innovative depending on how much space you have available.
What are some of the challenges you've faced as a farmer in Zimbabwe?
The challenges I have faced are a shortage of water and expensive input costs.
What advice would give other emerging farmers?
If you work hard in farming and are patient you are guaranteed to be rewarded greatly for your effort, so if it does not work the first time or the second time or the third it will work on the fourth and as from when it starts working it won’t stop, so they should not give up!!
What are your future plans and aspirations for your agribusiness?
Well, I want to be able to supply every shop in Zimbabwe with fresh produce. I want to mechanise my operations all the way from land preparation right through to harvesting, this will help me save money and increase my profits.
{Image Credit: Dominic Machingura}


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